. . . all the food
Oh, how I wish that was true: that I could just eat whatever I wanted to because I run. I found out quickly, training for my first half marathon, that that is just not the case. Nor for me, anyway.
But I do love the fact that I do have more wiggle room with eating when I’m running more miles. And these days, I’m often turning to Real Fit Kitchen recipes to fuel and recover from my runs with real foods.
Real Fit Kitchen: a review
I wanted to delve into nutrition in February. Nutrition absolutely fascinates me, and I’m always tinkering with what I eat, how I fuel my runs, and how I recover.
Real Fit Kitchen is written by Tara Mardigan, who has many credentials, including nutritionist and runner, and Kate Weiler, a sports nutritionist and triathlete. You pretty much know that you’re in good hands.
I had never heard of this book, but I am so glad that I picked it up. The following quote sums up the aim of the book (which I think they fulfill nicely):
The mission of this book is to help you eat real, delicious food. We want to introduce you to some wonderful ingredients, ones that you may not know about or may not know how to incorporate into your diet. We want to help you move awy from products concocted by food scientists in a lab and empower you to create your own food: food that will give you more vitality and strength than you can imagine.
The authors lay out what they call real fit values:
- Plant Based
- Pure & Simple
- Yours, Not Theirs
Real food requires no health claims
They introduce you to the Five Fingers approach to eating a balanced diet, which is to include these five ingredients in every meal:
- Healthy Fats
They also introduce the Powerful Plates concept, which is how your plate should look, loosely by percentages, if you’re an endurance athlete, working on strength + endurance, at a healthy weight, or less active (and give guidelines on how to adjust if you’re trying to lose or gain weight).
Finally, they talk about the healthy ingredients you should have in your kitchen.
The Recipes are broken down into categories:
- Lunch & Dinner
- Snacks & Portables
- Vegetables & Salads
- Dressings, Marinages, Dips, & Spreads
- Sports Drinks, Energy Drinks, & Juices
- Smoothies & Milks
- Anti-Inflammatory Solutions
The recipes don’t have nutrition informaton, but they do have nutrition tags: Gluten Free, Dairy Free, Vegan, Low FODMAP. They also includes tags on the best times to consume the recipe:
- Nutrient-Packed Mainstays
- Nutrient-Packed Treats
Some of the recipes call for ingredients you may not have heard of — or don’t normally stock in your kitchen (hello, mochi — except now I’m obsessed). Some are extremely simple (banana with salt and chia seeds for post workout) — most are a bit more complicated than that, but none of them are super time consuming.
But how do they taste?
Really, really good. Even the odd combinations like the salty bananas, although I did find myself having to decrease the amount of salt in those simple postwork recipes — and I like salt!.
Some of the recipes have already been made multiple times in my kitchen, and will become a staple in my recipe repitoire:
- Maple mustard glazed tempeh
- PR Mochi Bites (my favorite recipe!)
- Not Your Mama’s Cookies
- Maple Chia Sweet Potato Chunks
- Biked Apples (my second favorite recipe!)
- BQ Bars
- Chocolate Recovery Pudding (I made it a smoothie)
- Mint Chip Smoothie
I think there was only recipe I made that I felt was just okay — that would be the Marathon Muffins. It’s not that the muffins were bad, just that I don’t feel moved to make them again — which is too bad; they sounded really good! Actually, the Madzoon soup, which sounded so good, was too soupy for me. Go figure. It’s a yogurt based soup — I actually like the simplicity of it, but I think I might enjoy it more with less broth in it.
There are still many, many recipes i haven’t yet tried, and I’m excited to experiment with more recipes from this book.
Who is this book for?
Anyone that is interested in fueling their workouts with real foods — and for people with an open mind and a somewhat adventurous palate, as some of the recipes may be quite different from what you’re used to eating — but not all.
There are quite a few recipes that will appeal to vegetarians, and quite a few that will appeal to Paleo eaters.
If you need nutrition information and macronutrient information, you’ll be disappointed: there isn’t any.
My only real complaint about Real Fit Kitchen? That there aren’t more recipes! I am so glad I picked up the kindle version of this cookbook. Disclaimer: This post includes Amazon Affiliate links, and when you buy the book via my link, I make a small amount of money — thanks! I bought this cookbook with my own money, though, and the opinions expressed in this post are my own.
Other cookbook book reviews you might enjoy:
Tell me in the comments:
Real food or packaged gels and bars?
What’s the weirdest thing you’eat/drink for recovery?
Is there a cookbook you’d like to see a review of?